5607 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5541744.901221 -93.262460
Sun-Thu 5pm-9pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-10pm
Neighborhoods: Diamond Lake, Nokomis
Most disappointing service in Minneapolis – We went there on New Year's Eve and were very disappointed with the service. We had earlier reservations so there was only one other couple in the restaurant. The restaurant had a set menu but as we were waiting for a friend to join us, we heard the waitstaff discussing how they would be serving other items off their regular menu. Since we had time to waste, we asked our already unfriendly waitress (asking for our drink orders with arms crossed and never once smiling) to see the regular menu. Right after this, she returned to the open kitchen area and she and the chef began speaking in very loud voices (having to know we could hear them since it was very quiet in the place) about how "people are never satisfied and how we always need choices." He continued in a very cynical tone, "I try to put together something together but people just aren't happy with it!" He also started yelling about how few ingredients he had for other menu items. He made eye contact with us then and we were so embarrassed! Our friend joined us shortly after and we decided to leave. The set menu was expensive and if we were going to drop $200 for dinner, the least we could have is decent service without making us feel like we are inconveniencing them. Needless to say, we will never return and have told many friends about the terrible and disrespectful service.
Service and hospitality are HORRIBLE! – I was at First Course for a couple beers with a friend after we had completed taking the bar exam earlier in the day. Caught up in conversation about finally being done with such a grueling test, we did not realize that we had stayed past close because there were a couple other people still drinking and talking to the owner at the bar. Out of the blue, the owner came over to us and said, in a very condescending manner, ?Can I get you anything else?? Before I could say ?no,? the owner said, again in a condescending tone, ?Have a nice night.? The owner quickly turned his back and walked away. As my friend and I were leaving (we are not dense, we understood what he was saying), he came back over to us and patronizingly said, ?Would you like me to buy you a drink?? We said ?no? and proceeded out the door. I was thoroughly embarrassed by the incident because just an hour earlier I had been telling my friend that First Course is a great place. I don?t think we did anything to deserve this kind of treatment ? we had paid our bill, had left a very generous tip, and we were not the last people left in the restaurant. Prior to this incident, I had been to First Course a number of times, I genuinely enjoyed it, and I had recommended it to my friends. However, I had always overlooked the rather unfriendly and disinterested service because it is a neighborhood restaurant within blocks of my house and I thought it was important to provide my support. This incident has made it clear that First Course does not deserve my business or recommendations to friends. It is unfortunate, but I will NEVER step foot inside First Course again.
mediocre at best – I've been trying to think of some positives for this place, but I just can't come up with anything. The ambiance is cheap-looking, the service is indifferent and slow, and the food is not good. I regularly eat at high-end restaurants, but I would have been more satisfied with almost anything (think frozen pizza, mac and cheese, ramen noodles, whatever) compared to First Course. The crab cake appetizer was boring, and devoid of any flavor... frozen Trader Joe's cakes have more taste. I had the lamb dish, which was so overcooked all I could taste was the burnt char on the meat. The tilapia was bland and boring. And one main course arrived at our table 20 minutes after everyone else received their food, without any explanation or apology. And the place was not even busy. Tacky.
There are way too many good restaurants in the Twin Cities for me to even remotely consider ever returning to this place. I am frankly shocked to read any good reviews. For those who like this place, it's all yours. I won't be returning.
Chef driven bistro – This chef driven bistro has an eclectic mix of great dishes. My husband and I have been impressed with anything we have ever tried. The subdued lighting makes the ambience romantic, but the focus is really on the food. The place is pretty small, so it's smart to get there earlier on the weekends if you don't have a reservation.
Disappointing – i went there for dinner last night with my wife and ordered the seafood stew - especially looking forward to it for the calimari, and could not have been more disappointed.
While the broth was wonderful and the clams and mussels quite enjoyable, the calimari was, quite literally, inedible. So much so, that a larger piece with tentacles, I finally had to remove from my mouth after trying to chew it for about 5 minutes. Not a pretty sight (although the calimari looked quite unaltered by the event - kind of like a rubber toy!). In addition, the shrimp was overcooked and hard, and the bread "like a rock".
While I can understand that at any establishment, sometimes things go awry, the most discouraging part is that I was still charged the full $18.99 for a small bowl of stew which i didn't eat, and was offered a dessert which I didn't want.
Fortunately our server was charming.
A Hidden Gem in South Minneapolis – My Husband and I sent to dinner there on a Friday night. We had driven by numerous times and noticed their storefront when shopping at nearby the nearby Kowalski Market. We decided to try this place out one night. It was a wonderful surprise. The facade on the outside doesn't do this cute little S. Mpls gem justice. It's very warm and cozy inside with a modern twist. The food is Mediterrian in flavor but their menu has a little bit of everything. They had a nice wine list with very reputable choices. We had a couple Tapas to start off with, they were yummy. Then the meal was satisfying and flavorful. Prices were reasonable...food was great. We'll definitely be back and I would encourage others to go there. They had an acoustic gituar player the night we were there...very romantic. Another plus, great bathrooms!!! I only saw the woman's bathroom but I honestly think it is one of the nicest bathrooms I've been in for a restaurant. . Dress can be casual but you could go for a very special night on the town and fit in too. Bottom line, put this place on your list of places to try...it's a winner!
Astonished – It's a little neighborhood place (especially little) but it has a new design that makes it look far more refined and the food is amazing. Halibut w/ roasted red pepper vinegrette or chili rubbed tenderloin on granny smith apple mashed potatoes & a shiraz demiglace, salads with roasted portabella mushrooms and a port vinegrette, and a nice bunch of tapas. As always, listen for specials. Many are brilliant. The chef is artistic with the food and able to get tremendous consistency out of his staff. I thought he was friendly and interesting and we will be going back often.
The Owner Doesn't Understand Hospitality – I've never had a worse experience in speaking with someone who is supposed to be in the hospitality business.
On a Monday afternoon, I called to provide some feedback on my experience on the previous Saturday night. I was very polite and made sure to call well before opening, but about 30 seconds into the call, the owner insulted me by asking if I'd ever been to a restaurant before, told me he didn't need my business and SLAMMED the phone down.
I was hoping to provide some constructive feedback for his benefit, but he was an abusive bully.
I live in the neighborhood and have been there several times over the last few years, but I'll take the owner's advice -- I'll NEVER go back.
Dine on delicious, diverse dishes in a casual, Spartan yet somehow chic dining room. – In Short
When you draw back the gauzy curtains surrounding the door, expect a dark, small room that's surprisingly appealing. Walls are plywood or painted with wide, colorful stripes; stainless steel accents abound; and the tables and chairs are hard black wood. Dress casual by day, a little dressier at night, if you'd like. Lunch items are affordable and well-proportioned, especially the half-sandwich and salad special. Dinners feature salmon in a soy marin sauce on bok choy.
First Course - First Rate!! – I have dined there a few times and they always seem do outdo themselves. The prices are amazing for the quality of food. The chef is a master at his craft and has some of the best food I have ever eaten. I would recommend this for any occasion.
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